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p.4 Continued embellishments and contradictions of the Jesus Revolution movie

Lonnie Frisbee is first presented in “Jesus Revolution” movie as a humble man who had been radically saved and wants to do only one thing in life – to tell others the good news. The audience is introduced to Frisbee with no background of his past except to present him as a genuine ‘Christian hippie’ in California. He is depicted as a celebrity among the ‘Jesus People’ (hippies being saved). However, this presentation is a sanitized version of Frisbees' life, which if truthfully told, would ruin the movie's primary storyline, as his life was in many ways tragic and intentionally not told to make an ultra-feel good more commercially sellable production.

The movie makes Frisbee ‘the key figure’ in the Jesus movement. He is given a shined halo nearly the whole way through. However, Frisbee’s conversion to Christ had some very unusual and questionable circumstances. Being a so-called “spiritual seeker,” and a mystic, Frisbee would read the Bible while tripping on LSD when he went up to the canyon at Tahquitz Falls. In reality, Frisbee was not converted by the Word of God, but rather by a vision of himself. Even before this conversion happened he was baptizing people on LSD. There are other accounts of this event as well that are irreconcilable.

He claims he became a Christian while reading the Gospel of John high on LSD- while on a “vision quest” near Palm Springs, California. … He later said that on a different acid trip, after his conversion, he had “a vision of a vast sea of people crying out to the Lord for salvation, with Frisbee in front preaching the gospel.” (from David W. Stowe, No Sympathy for the Devil: Christian Pop Music and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism , UNC Press Books, 2011.)

But in real life we find that he was a Christian as a youngster, being brought to church by his grandmother and confessing Christ as savior at the early age of 8 years old and then going to Pentecostal meetings for years.

When Frisbee came to Haight Ashbury San Francisco, 1967-68 just after his ‘supernatural conversion’ in the canyon he united with some Christians already there and found out that his Jesus was not flying around in a UFO. So, prior to this, the question has to be asked, what Jesus did Frisbee have an experience within the canyon? A mystical Jesus? Certainly, this was not the Jesus of Scripture because of the many descriptions he gave (these details will be addressed in a future article)

Nearly the entire history of Lonnie’s story is convoluted, we find so many contradictions. We may never be able to know the full details or the entire truth surrounding the primary accounts of his life. But what is known, is that the spiritual practices of Lonnie Frisbee have led too many Christians into full-scale unbiblical false teachings which we have addressed (Wimber and Frisbee) and will be addressed in the article to follow.

Greg Laurie does not believe Lonnie Frisbee was involved in the same things before in his ministry time when he lived in Haight Ashbury. Others say differently. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjoKdlParx4

In the aftermath (Greg Laurie Opens Up About Lonnie Frisbee's Tragic End https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjoKdlParx4

Mike McIntosh and Greg Laurie wentto see Lonniethe last few days of his life Lonnie believed that God was going to heal him. and he believed he was going to preach but I think Mike and I could see this was not going to happen and I don't know if that was the effects of the AIDS if he was delusional but it was clear but he was repentant he knew what he did was wrong he never was an advocate for any of it but he fell away .”

Greg Laurie later states, “... Lonnie says God has shown me that I'm going to preach to thousands of people kind of thinking that's not going to happen and he died not long afterwards but this is what a friend said to me. He said did it ever occur to you that through this movie and through his story being told Lonnie haspreached to thousands of people notthousands of millions and so Ithought wow was God giving to him alittle vision of his future that hisstory was going to be redeemed and toldto a whole new audience. And there are there is a scene in the film where Lonnie is preaching in the church, so he preached he's preaching to millions of people ...so look I'm glad that I can help tell his story and the story of Pastor Chuck because God used them.”

He also said God will heal him to have this preaching occur; God did not. This compartmentalizing was said to approve Lonnie, that he was able to still receive visions from the Lord on his deathbed to affirm he was justified. I do not think this obtuse interpretation helps in any way.

The Riverside church

In the movie Lonnie is in a conversation with Chuck Smith about going to Riverside to do church meetings, he says “I don’t get it, we already have our place and services.Chuck explains “its having difficulty reaching the youth. Lonnie: “ well why don’t you do it”

Chuck: it’s a youth service…its perfect for you.”Lonnie then accuses Chuck, you’re trying to get rid of me?”Chuck: c’mon Lonnie, please, don’t get dramatic, its one night a week and there have been some concerns about our methods. I had time to pull back on the, theatrics.”

Lonnie: “the theatrics, is that what you think I do? Lonnie states it is not theatrics. Chuck: look, I think you are majorly gifted man, I think it's possible you may actually walk hand in hand with God, and I’m so grateful that you came here. But we have to start paying attention to the idea that we can control how we are perceived.”

Lonnie: “What does it matter how we are perceived chuck, kids are getting saved by the Holy Spirit, you can’t control the Holy Spirit.”Chuck (sternly says) “but we can control our ministry, and we must! I’ll cover things here while you help them there.”Lonnie: “ no I don’t feel the Lord calling me To that.”

Greg Laurie is outside the room, the door is opened and he hears this, and bursts inI’ll do it, yea, I feel called.Chuck says to him, Why not . Greg: far out great. Thank you.” Lonnie: (music comes on) “ Problem solved.”

This is not what really happened. Chuck and Lonnie’s fallout takes place from Lonnie pursuing to be in the spotlight, exercising his 'spiritual gifts' (which we find is true), turning more towards faith healing that he learned from Kathryn Kuhlman (for over 7 years) and others. After he was on her TV show, from her being his spiritual mentor he received an impartation from her laying on of hands, she laid hands on me in a prayer of impartation ” which may have escalated this activity that Frisbee desired (slain in the spirit and other unbiblical practices).

Greg Laurie was not on staff with Calvary Chapel then. When they first sent someone to this other churches youth meeting because their numbers were dwindling it was Lonnie Frisbee, he was sent to the Episcopal church in Riverside church . . . and it expanded to three hundred quickly. Laurie writes, “ Chuck sent God’s secret weapon, Lonnie Frisbee, to the Riverside church.”

In real life (1971) Lonnie and Connie left Calvary Chapel to join a spiritual movement located in Florida. This affected the growing fellowship in Riverside that Lonnie Frisbee already started (at All Saints Episcopal Church in Riverside on Sunday nights in 1970 according to his book).

It is after Frisbee left different pastors from Calvary Chapel would take a meeting for one week at a time, but no one wanted it for various reasons.

Greg Laurie in his book : “Greg was hanging out at a staff meeting, they all stopped and looked at Greg . . . “Hey, Greg! Why don’t you go down to Riverside?” they asked. “Yes!” said Greg. He was out the door with his battered Bible before they could change their minds.”

The group of 300 that Lonnie had shrunk to around 30 people. Laurie says, I just gave a message and they invited me to go back the next week. It started to grow and continued to grow until it was 500 people on Sunday night and we had effectively outgrown this church.

At 19 Greg was sent to the Riverside Episcopal Church. At the end of his first message he says in his book, Six young people came forward to pray with him. The church youth continued to grow .” The rector then told Greg that he should become an Episcopalian, with maybe a few years in seminary, it ended with leaders of the church meeting with Chuck to no longer have him teach there.

Chuck understood God was planting a new congregation of young people in Riverside. So he searched for a building for them to meet in. A former church building was for sale. Apparently in Laurie’s book, Chuck met with the realtor while Greg walked through the now empty Baptist church that had split and made the deposit and the first payment for the month, the rest was on him , Chuck said You’ve got yourself a church.” The Riverside Church in California Laurie started in 1972.

Near the end of the movie, we see Chuck surprises Greg on the hillwhere they baptize people at Corona del Mar.

Chuck: I recently heard about this church out at Riverside near the place where you did that Bible study and itseems their leadership had an issue about something and are splitting up, they took everything. They left an empty abandoned building where a church used to be, seems a shame doesn’t it?” He apologizes for not standing up for you when I should have. I was wrong about that (speaking of when those in the Episcopal Church came to visit Chuck to no longer have Greg teach). Greg: thank you. So what happened to that church?

Chuck: oh I bought it this morning, it's like an empty canvas. Seems perfect for an artist like you. Greg: You want me to work there for you?

Chuck:It's not my church, it's yours. This movement started at calvary but it can’t stay here. So go build something great.Greg: I don’t know what to say. Chuck:say yes.Greg: yes. Pastor chuck I don’t think I can ever do what you do. Chuck: you’ll do better.

And Chuck hands Laurie the keys to the church, (which has a lot of symbolism behind it).

Why so many changes to what actually took place throughout the movie? Because this is a Hollywood after all.

Another example: the interviewer for Time magazine is there all through the movie, from the beginning (I don’t think he was there for 2 years.) Time magazine did do a major story on June 21, 1971, The cover of the magazine actually had the words: “The Jesus Revolution.” The Alternative Jesus: Psychedelic Christ.

The article covered Calvary Chapel and the massive baptisms at Corona del Mar. Lonnie Frisbee is not mentioned in it (In 1971 Frisbee was asked to leave Calvary Chapel he came back 6 years later). The article informs us The Jesus Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s was not isolated to any single denomination or geographic area in the United States; it appeared to be a move of the Holy Spirit that spread from coast to coast.

The movie and the gospel

I have had respect for Greg Laurie and his evangelism in the past, when I was with Calvary I worked as a counselor at his crusades. I saw it as a good work for the gospel then. But this has become questionable in many ways, especially since he accepted Rick Warren and his ministry (Laurie arranged for him to sit onstage next to Chuck at his crusade ). Warren does not teach on sin which means he can’t deliver the gospel. Many things have gone off course with Laurie's friendship/ ecumenism.

Greg Laurie says of the movie “ taking a non believer to Jesus revolution is one of the easiest ways I can think of to do evangelism. This film is filled with the gospel and touches people deeply. We have heard of so many stories of people accepting Christ after they saw it. We also heard stories of people who went on their own and wanted to know how to become a Christian after seeing the film, take someone to see it tonight”

If the film was so full of the gospel, why do people need to ask other people how to become a Christian? They would hear it over and over again on the screen. The fact is, it is only partially mentioned twice. Is Jesus being spoken of throughout the movie, yes. But that is not the gospel message for salvation.

It is not filled with the gospel but about love and acceptance, these should not be confused with the message that brings salvation. The movie is filled with emotional stories strung together that are more than questionable in their accuracy, some are true, and many are not. Would not Laurie be a consultant on his book or did he not care what they did? Why would anyone allow so many events to be changed of their own life?

The gospel is not there as Laurie tells us. Do Christians know what the gospel is any longer, what they are to stand in?

Laurie’s lack of explanation of the gospel on his website does give insight into how the presentation of the message is being softened. There is no explanation of who Jesus is, that the only Son of God came from heaven as God to become man, or about his resurrection that is connected to his death that must be included in one’s belief (having faith). All of this needs further explanation for one to have a grasp on what they are accepting.

Professing Him as “Lord and Savior” is insufficient, for that is what all the cults do. In our day there is confusion and the message needs to be qualified. When one says Lord do they mean the only true God, the creator of all things who came in the flesh who died for our sins, and physically rose again on the third day? Sadly more often it is not understood.

Selective memory or purposely changing and combining events that did or did not happen are the choices we have before us. As we have seen so many inaccuracies and portions made up. These are pivotal scenes that connect the characters in the movie. If they are not true what can be trusted?

Laurie explains in an interview Chuck did not give him the keys (Heading on youtube by bless god studios ‘Greg Laurie ADMITS Jesus Revolution Movie "LIED" About THIS’)

If Chuck didn’t hand him the keys there, why show it as this? For Cinematic attraction? It certainly has a strong implication toward Greg Laurie.

Again, Christians are to speak the truth in love; to change the crucial events in people's lives so drastically and hope for a revival to repeat itself from it is disingenuous This is supposed to be the greatest revival in history but they can’t tell us what is actually true? that's shameful.

The movie's focus is on only 3 main characters, to have so much of it being untrue is more than disappointing. It gives a false impression as people leave the theater thinking what they saw is basically what happened (or near what happened). How can this even be based on a true story when so many of the crucial events did not happen as it is presented?

Whoever did not check to see if these stories are accurate or even true was irresponsible, these are blatant inaccuracies of real people’s lives. Connie, the wife of deceased Lonnie Frisbee is portrayed in the movie. She says she was never contacted during the time of the film production of Jesus Revolution. Why would you not want to at least interview her for a reference?

All this makes me question what exactly did happen, even what is told in the books.

Why did they do all these changes and how is Greg Laurie fine with them, when it is negligence.

The entertainment value may be near 100%, the truth far less than 50% (if that). If we eliminate all the stories they invented or embellished, what’s left? Take these wrong stories of events out and there is little movie left.

Does God use what is not true to promote what is true?

Paul wrote of the apostles For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit. ” (1 Thess. 2:3)

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17. Our attitude should be For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. (2 Cor. 13:8)